Hacking vs Ethical Hacking: What Sets Them Apart
Hacking vs ethical hacking is a debate that has enjoyed good popularity over the years. The internet continues to expand to the nook and corners of the world. It has also led to a tremendous spurt in the growth of hackers. They are skilled individuals who use their advanced technical knowledge, but for all the wrong reasons.
To make things simple, consider an example of how your company data can get stolen. In such a scenario, only a skilled IT professional can understand why the breach happened. However, since the hackers don’t do anyone a benefit, they get the name accordingly. On the other hand, certain hackers work for the betterment of everyone. We know them as ethical hackers because they work with government and other organizations to avert cyber crimes.
Both the category of hackers has advanced knowledge, but they use them for different purposes. Let us take a look at what hacking and ethical hacking is all about in detail.
What is Hacking?
Hacking is a complex process that involves a lot of time, effort and multiple attempts to get success. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea despite getting knowledge about it. The process involves breaching into the systems, either in an ethical or unethical way, to access the data. Only experts with advanced knowledge can perform these activities. They usually get trained in programming knowledge and other concepts related to the field.
They will also be able to point out any vulnerability that may weaken any existing system that did not get checked and tested properly. By working on the loopholes, they prepare frameworks to breach the systems and gain access to data. Ethical hackers have noble intentions, and organizations often use their services to secure their data. We can also refer to ethical hackers as White Hats. They provide security and protection against Black Hats, who are also unethical hackers. Today, most organizations have an ethical hacker in the team.
What are white-hat hackers?
Organizations hire them to improve the security framework of their systems and create programming language like Linux, which offers better security. They have the responsibility of creating various security software and keeping them up to date. Furthermore, they also develop programs like firewall, popup blocker, and ad blocker.
What are black-hat hackers?
They hack into the systems to steal important information, steal money from accounts and transactions, and get access to restricted data. They also download the software through illegal means and access restricted networking spaces. There are different types of black hat hackers. We list them below:
- Crackers: They remove the security of software through patches.
- Phreakers: They hack telephone networks.
- Script kiddies: They randomly attack computer systems without any specific purpose.
- Carders: They retrieve user information by attacking credit cards and ATMs.
Methods of Hacking
Here are three different methods that hackers regularly adopt to steal information.
- Botnets: It involves the use of robots through botnets instead of hackers.
- Phishing: Hackers use their knowledge to crack the passwords of websites or email addresses. Such emails regularly land in the mailboxes of people. The hackers could extract login information of users by asking them to login into their systems or redirecting them through links.
- Keyloggers: It is one of the recent techniques that hackers make use of steal data. Hackers usually install some device on the motherboard. So, the typed information on the keyboard gets stolen.
Hackers and crackers
It is common to expect that programmers help to boost security, while crackers aim at doing just the opposite. There is a significant difference between how the two work even though they take part in the same activity. Hackers typically have good information concerning computers and have all the specialized knowledge. They intend to counter-assault dangers presented by crackers.
Crackers remain very much aware that their work is unlawful and attempt to hide them. Although crackers might be exceptionally talented in hacking systems, proficient hackers can reestablish the security of the compromised networks. Crackers usually go about doing their business by understanding systems and exploiting the weak areas later. They can create tools that are capable enough to hack into secure systems. When doing so, most of them also do not leave behind any traces.
Crackers carry out all their activities illegally, in an opposite manner to hackers. However, there exists a huge difference regarding the knowledge both possess. Hackers usually have an advanced understanding of computer languages and how they can use them for the betterment. Crackers do not possess such skills relating to computer programming.
So it is very much evident that ethical hackers break into the systems to identify loopholes and fix them. Crackers would want to hack into systems and networks to exploit them for personal benefit. Most organizations that employ white hat hackers have a legal contract in place for them. Black hat hackers don’t function by any rules or regulation and act on their whims and fancies.
How to become an ethical hacker
Ethical hacking is an upcoming field that is here to stay for the longest time. As the internet advances, there will be growth in the skills and knowledge of hackers as well. Most businesses would realize the importance of cybersecurity and feel the need to hire dedicated personnel to keep their systems and networks safe from breaches. If you are well-versed with technology and have a keen interest, you can advance your career in cybersecurity.
Great Learning’s cybersecurity course can help you gain advanced knowledge of the subject. Ranked as the top program in the country for five successive years, the program offers a comprehensive curriculum and personalized mentorship. The Stanford Cyber Security course will help you learn cybersecurity in a holistic manner.
It will help you gain the fundamental knowledge and skills required to advance a career in cybersecurity. Besides knowing what is cybersecurity, you will also learn about different cyberattacks that have taken place in the past and how you can overcome them. Experts from Stanford and the industry teach the course that ensures the best learning experience.
The course is ideal for working experts as well as there is personalized mentorship support, with biweekly personal sessions. The program has a definite structure, and there is also scope for networking. The future of cybersecurity is bright, and you can expect a rewarding career.